Ancient Mayan heads have been returned to Guatemala after being smuggled out of the country decades ago

Saturday, 11 November 2017, 11:15:59 PM. The 18 items date from between 250 A.D. to the year 900.
Share Tech & Science Guatemala Archaeology A trove of ancient Mayan artefacts including the heads of several figurines have been returned to Guatemala decades after they were smuggled out of the country into European museums and private collections. The Guatemalan ministries of culture and foreign affairs announced the return of rare ceramic pottery and sculptures Tuesday, which were brought to the country’s National Palace after more than 50 years in European nations such as Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Read more: Mysteries of shipwreck hundreds of years old revealed by 3D scanning off the Italian coast Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now Guatemala’s minister of culture and sports, Jose Luis Chea, said the 18 items had originally been taken from archaeological sites in the northeastern and southern parts of the country. They date from between 250 A.D. to the year 900. Chea said the pieces would be added to Guatemala’s extensive collections from the early classical Mayan period. The Latin American television network Telesur reported the artefacts had been acquired through illicit means during the 1960s. They were only returned following mediation between Guatemala City and the foreign governments in question. In some instances the private owners of some of the items were convinced to returned them voluntarily. "The pieces are visible objects, but in their content they represent a small piece of national identity," Chea said. He added that Guatemala’s...Read more
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